Leaders of Germany, Turkey, France, Russia to meet at Syria summit in October: Merkel
Leaders from Turkey, Russia, Germany and France will come together at the first summit of its kind in a bid to extensively discuss recent developments in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced while hosting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Berlin.
“We also talked about Idlib and we will talk in more depth tomorrow. We are in favor of there being a four way meeting between the Turkish president, the Russian President, the French president and me,” Merkel said in a joint news conference with Erdoğan on Sept. 28.
She also said the meeting would be possible in mid-October while Erdoğan previously suggested Istanbul as the venue of the summit with the participation of Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Preparations for the upcoming summit had been made during a meeting in Istanbul on Sept. 14 with the participation of the foreign policy advisors of four leaders.
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy advisor, had hosted Macron’s diplomacy adviser Philippe Étienne, Russian presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foreign policy adviser Jan Hecker.
The immediate agenda of that meeting was to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Idlib through an all-out military offensive by the Syrian army. A deal brokered by Erdoğan and Putin has avoided the military offensive but set a deadline for the removal of all radical groups from a demilitarized zone until Oct. 15.
The leaders will review the implementation of the Idlib deal as well as joint efforts for a political settlement to the Syrian question that has claimed the lives of around one million Syrians since 2011.
They will also seek ways to accelerate the process of making the new Syrian constitution through a committee set with the participation of both representatives from the regime and opposition groups. The reconstruction of the war-torn country would also be discussed among other regional developments.
Germany and France are careful not to give off the impression of taking sides in the Russia-United States strife regarding the issue of Syria, the diplomat said and noted they do not want the meeting to turn into an “anti-Trump” event.